I scrolled down the page to the “Frequently Bought Together” feature (wherein Amazon tries to convince you to buy another particular book or two because other visitors to the page are doing so) and did a classic doubletake when I saw the two books they were bundling together with this survey of world religions: Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers.
“Huh,” I said, in those exact words.
These things are generated automatically, so it was a pretty reliable indication that people interested in one were often interested in the others. I scrolled down further and discovered that fully 28 percent of the people who view the page for The Kids’ Book of World Religions end up buying one of my books.
Another book linked to that page was Mary Pope Osborne’s One World, Many Religions. I clicked over to that page and found that it too was “Frequently Bought Together” with Parenting Beyond Belief. (This wasn’t completely surprising, since this title — unlike every other title in this post — is recommended in Raising Freethinkers.)
I popped ’round to Many Ways: How Families Practice Their Beliefs and Religions and learned that “Customers Also Bought” PBB. Twelve percent of visitors to The Story of Religion by Betsy Maestro end up buying PBB instead, as do nine percent of visitors to My Friends’ Beliefs: A Young Reader’s Guide to World Religions.
As of yesterday – these things do ebb and flow, of course – every book paired with the above titles by Amazon’s automatic recommendation system was either another comparative religion book for kids or a book for nonreligious parents. And here’s the thing: not a single book devoted to another individual worldview made the lists.
What does this mean?
Correct me since I’m wrong, but it would seem to suggest something I’ve long suspected — that nonreligious parents are more likely than parents of other worldviews to give their kids a broad exposure to a number of beliefs.
I certainly hope that’s what it suggests, because that’s freethought parenting. That’s what I’m always on about — teaching kids to think well, then trusting them to do so. Daddy’s so proud of all y’all. Go get yourself a cookie.